After a strong finish in 2015, business for Europe's largest distributors hit the doldrums in Q1 2016. But that didn't stop GTDC (the association of distributors) from having their biggest-ever EMEA conference.
GTDC members generate more than $130 billion in annual revenue, and channel executive participants at Summit EMEA, June 14-15, represented more than 40 IT companies.
The conference brought together about 200 top industry executives for private meetings and a day of industry sessions by leading experts.
Chairman, president and CEO of Arrow, Mike Long (also the vice chairman of GTDC) opened the conference with optimism for the new opportunities ahead...
"A few years ago we actually had to explain the value of distribution and deal with the old arguments about channel conflicts," says Long. "Now we are talking about new markets...cloud, security and services."
More than 600 new vendors signed on to sell via GTDC members in last 24 months, the best type of vote of confidence for distributors in an age of cloud, mobile and Everything-as-a-Service.
In another example of industry confidence in distribution, one member (ABC Data of Poland) went from 73,000 to 180,000 SKUs as the industry shifted from pc to mobile communications.
Tim Curran, GTDC association director [shown in photo], noted distributors have proven themselves flexible and able to weather industry change.
Part of the change coming ahead is about the Internet of Things (IoT): GTDC interviewed 30 major IT companies and found 85% consider IoT a huge or substantial opportunity. About 60% are in early discussions, 25% say they need to get going, and 12% are ready for it.
GTDC honored the region's fastest-growing IT vendors at its Rising Star Awards dinner. These winners are chosen based on CONTEXT SalesWatch Distribution database sales growth tracking from April 2015 to March 2016:
HARDWARE (EUR 25M - 100M)
- LaCie (Seagate) Gold
- Wiko Silver
- Aruba Networks Bronze
HARDWARE (EUR 100M - 500M)
- F5 Gold
- TP-LINK Silver
- AVM Bronze
HARDWARE (EUR 500M - 1 BILLION)
- Huawei Gold
- Microsoft Silver
- Lexmark Bronze
HARDWARE (EUR 1 BILLION+)
- Dell Gold
- Apple Silver
- Lenovo Bronze
- Veeam Gold
- Autodesk Silver
- Oracle Bronze